Lucas Gray & Nick Mira: Propel Studio

Nick and Lucas are multi-disciplinary, creative designers who recently set up their architecture studio at ADX. Propel Studio is a “community oriented architecture, design, and development studio looking to work with creative, inspiring people and organizations” (Propel Studio). Lucas and Nick operate their business on the triple bottom line – environment, economics, and people.


Lucas and Nick have already become integral parts of our community here at ADX. Not only have they collaborated with the ADX Fabrication and Education Departments, contributing their design expertise to an interactive education wall for local students, but Lucas’s artwork will also be displayed in our upcoming First Friday Member Show.

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Lucas Gray, AIA, LEED BD+C

Lucas-Headshot-BW1Lucas brings passion for design excellence and years of international work experience designing projects in Asia, Europe, Africa, Australia and North America. His innovative, competition-winning design ideas blend sustainable building strategies and timeless architectural forms with a particular focus on materiality and manipulating daylight. He brings expertise working with diverse communities throughout the world, offering his services to community groups and nonprofits to create positive change through architecture. Lucas’s experience with marketing, communication and social media offers a unique skill set to their studio, helping him communicate their ideas with clients and the public. Lucas has a Bachelor of Architecture from McGill University in Montreal, Canada, a Master of Architecture degree from the University of Oregon and is a LEED-accredited professional.

Nick Mira, AIA, LEED BD+C

Nick-Headshot-BWNick believes in providing excellent service to clients and brings a dedication to design exploration to each and every project. He is an Oregon-licensed architect with over 10 years experience working on technically challenging projects across the United States and internationally. His portfolio consists of high-performance buildings for offices, research, healthcare, commercial, mixed-use and residential. Nick’s leadership and technical abilities allow him to guide their practice through the complexities of any project with a focus on sustainable design strategies and an acute attention to detail. Nick facilitates a collaborative approach to design through interactive visualization and Building Information Modeling. He holds a Bachelor of Architecture degree from Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston, is a LEED-accredited professional and is an active explorer in his design studio. ????????????????????????????

Propel Studio was founded with the idea that we could give back to our community by providing creative solutions to the built environment. We believe in creating socially responsible architecture that improves the places we live, work, and play. With each project our studio explores the intricacies of the program, the unique aspects of each site, and the local climate to develop a strong concept that we follow through the project’s completion. We work at all scales, from small pavilions and homes, to neighborhood planning and commercial developments (Propel Studio).


We work in a collaborative environment where we share ideas, challenge our preconceptions, and push our designs to be innovative and responsive (Propel Studio).


Check out more of Propel Studio’s impressive work here or on their Facebook page (don’t forget to ‘Like’ them!). Want to get in touch with Nick and Lucas?

Propel Studio
417 SE 11th Ave.,
Portland, OR 97214
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Design & Fabrication Series (Part 1)

Did you know ADX is home to one of the top custom design & fabrication shops in Portland?

You’ve likely seen our team’s handiwork in places all around Portland or beyond. In this three part series, we’ll give you an inside look at our recent projects, our design and build process, and the people behind this fine work.

Mariposa: Installation


Our client, a technological installation artist from Interhacktive, came to ADX to make his idea a reality. His vision? Mariposa, a 40-foot tall light, sound, and touch interactive chandelier. Mariposa utilizes a complex network of motion sensors, sounds, and LED lights to generate audiovisual displays based on interaction. This breathtaking installation is located in Denver, CO, so unfortunately, we can’t play with it but in Part 2 we’ll show you how it was made!


Luc Lac Vietnamese Kitchen: Interior

Last December, Luc Lac closed their doors in order to bring their look up to par with their top-notch cuisine. This project incorporated a football field of copper, steel, and wood and can now be seen stretching across an entire wall of the newly renovated restaurant. Next time we’ll show you the inspiration for this installation and what it took to build it.


Pfriem Family Brewers: Artisanal Manufacturing

Great brews need equally well crafted tap handles. That’s why Pfriem, winner of Williamette Week’s 2014 Beer of the Year, came to ADX to develop their rustic, hand crafted handles. In part 2, we’ll show you how a truckload of barn wood turned into those awesome tap handles you keep seeing around town.


Tokio Table Japanese Steakhouse: Furniture

The owner of Tokio Table, a brand new Japanese Steakhouse on Division, came to ADX to design and fabricate a sleek set of communal teppanyaki tables. These white-topped, zebra wood veneer clad behemoths can each accommodate a 300-pound, 30,000 BTU hibachi griddle, and seat plenty. Tokio Table is not yet open but we’re excited to see these dynamic tables in action soon!


In Part 2, we’ll explore our design and build process and give you a “behind-the-scenes” look at how to complete these projects.

What’s your big idea? Contact us at and let’s build something awesome.

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Getting Into Shapes: Kello & Grady

This blog post was originally posted on February 27th, 2014 by Josh Doll of Band.

It’s fairly frequently, I would say, that we feel inspired by and impressed with the collective creative folks that we share our office space with. Recently, one of the desks in the ADX co-working space was occupied by the lovely Kello, who worked together with local artist Grady to create a really cool collaborative art piece.Using a massive amount of hand-finished, painted and collaged wooden shapes, these two built an rad working kaleidoscope that these photos will not do justice. That said, the kaleidoscope will be on display at the Timeshare Gallery in downtown Portland, and there will be a (second) opening show on March 6 for First Thursday.

Do these two a favor and go check out their work this week [Thursday, March 6th] from 6:30 to 11 PM [at

via Getting Into Shapes | Band Ltd. | Kello & Grady.

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Graham Kingsbury: Wands, Jewelry, and Purses

Three years ago, Graham Kingsbury  decided to carve himself a wand. “I’m a fantasy fan and a big fan of the Harry Potter books,” Graham says. “Wands and wandmakers play a big part in the story, and in the sixth book, there’s a mention of ‘other wandmakers,’ which got me thinking.”

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Wands: Pink Ivory, African Blackwood, Snakewood, Tulipwood, Zebrawood, Rosewood, Zircote, Granadillo, Ebony, Bocote, Cocobolo, and Oak.

Graham Kingsbury noted that in carving square sticks into rounded sticks, the wood began to whisper. Tales of wizards and witches from long ago, and the wands they left behind. Graham learned that he was not carving his own new wands, but actually finding old wands reborn from the chunks of new wood in his hands (excerpt from Graham’s booklet, Wand Wise).

After carving his own wands, Graham began to write a history of wands, Wanderers, which started in the Harry Potter universe and then grew apart from it altogether. He would carve a wand, and then write its story, including who carved it originally, and what deeds it may have done, or who first owned it.

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Jewelry: Hand-carved pink ivory wood with pearls and copper wire.

Graham continued carving wands and other small items until his girlfriend inspired him to start carving jewelry. So far he has focused on earrings, working in wood and simple metal forms. His work has grown into larger projects as well, such as tables, mirrors, purses, and soon a jewelry box.

0120141251Purse/clutch: Rosewood front and sides, mahogany back. Leather interior. Lathe-turned outside, hand tooled inside. Sanded to 2500 grit for smooth finish. Magnetic closures. Fits most smartphones and eyeglasses.

My Grandfather was a woodworker, carving birds and making wooden clocks, boats, and household solutions to non-existent problems. My uncle carves a bit as well… I guess it’s in the genes!


Want a handcrafted wand of your own or to learn more about wand making? Email Graham at or visit Wand Wise.

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Mick Miller: Local Builder

Community member Mick Miller is a talented local builder who specializes in residential and small commercial renovations. He also has the skills to tackle smaller projects requiring fine woodworking and finish carpentry. Mick’s most recent project at ADX has been this gorgeous gate set.


Mick works closely with his clients to construct their vision and work within their budget. He tends to start with a general idea and then allows it to develop throughout the build process.



With consideration of the parameters I have to work within, I find this to be the most gratifying approach, as it allows for spontaneity and problem solving. It allows for a work to emerge in the process of its creation.

DSC00399 copyHis next project will be a set of tables, desks, and assorted furniture pieces, all utilizing combinations and profiles of steel and reclaimed hardwoods. Mick is aiming for an elegant industrial aesthetic and is excited to see how this project will evolve. 

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Mick Miller is a licensed, insured general contractor with an extensive portfolio of decks, fences, gates, and pergolas, with more furniture in the works. Need something built with both function and finesse? Contact Mick Miller at
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Drone Challenge Takes Off!

Last December, we joined forces with Autodesk to challenge two teams of DIY hobbyists to help solve a serious animal rights issue. Their mission? To design and build a small, cost effective, fixed wing drone in order to prevent the poaching of rhinos.

In our first drone challenge post, we discussed the impending extinction of the rhino due to cruel poaching tactics in South Africa. Our teams were given two weeks to design, build, and test fly an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that could be used to survey wildlife preserves in order to prevent rhino poaching. Check out their build process and innovative designs! 

THE TEAMS: “Drone Thugz n Harmony” and “Oxpeckers”


Team Drone Thugz n Harmony Members (left to right): Duncan O’Bryan, Matt Kennedy, Alex McManus, Will Watson, Dan Klancnik, Jeb Boniakowski. Not Pictured: Collin Blinder, Catherine Poole.


Team Oxpeckers Members (left to right): Brad Yeomans, James Ward, Julie Steele, Lauren Lieu.

DSC_8642DSC_8631When the teams began the challenge, most members had little to no experience in drone building. They were given initial guidance from Stan Hisel, a professional UAV designer, and the option to work off of Stan’s starter foam material kit. Over two short weeks, the teams worked to perfect their drone designs using Fusion 360, Autodesk’s 3-D CAD program, the help of a few advisors, and their own unique skills.


Advisors (From left to right): Michael Aubrey (Autodesk), Stan Keisel (UAV designer), and Mike Alfoni (ADX).



Two weeks is not a lot of time to design, build, and fly a UAV. Why such a short challenge? Well, February 2014 kicks off a much bigger global drone building competition. After our in-house challenge, the teams will enter their designs into the Wildlife UAV Conservation Challenge in which thousands of dollars in prize money and a trip to South Africa are at stake. With over 1,000 teams already entered in the Wildlife UAV Conservation Challenge, the competition is on. Let’s see how our drones held up in the fly and ballistics tests!

AAF_3852AAF_3865AAF_3861.MOVAAF_3815AAF_3828.MOVAAF_3199AAF_3221-12013-12-10 14.44.14AAF_3367-12013-12-10 14.46.04kmp7Qo3rLf9XZvladSKARdTGMOpmDXqAgjIP4fhZePsAfter their drones were put to the test, both teams reassembled with a blend of the old team members and a few new additions. The new team members will provide much needed expertise in surveillance systems for the upcoming competition. Continue to follow the progress of the teams here as they enter the next phase of the competition!

DSC_8813If you want to be part of this exciting challenge email Mike at 

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Gifted 2013: The Portland Made Marketplace!

We are so excited to be featuring the work of these great local makers! Looking for clothes, jewelry, or accessories? They’ve got ‘em. Your pet, garden, and home supplies are in the bag. Sweets, drinks, and gift baskets are all here. And they’ve got any of your bike, phone, or art needs covered.

GiftedAnd the Gifted 2013 vendors are…

Sportafina                                           Grey Paw Design

Ruphus                                               Give Portland

The Beebe Company                         Sweet T Studios

Schutten Works                                  Sarah’s Cookies

North St. Bags                                     Three Little Figs

Oregon Kombucha                            Donald & Jane

Sue Handman                                    Saucy Jewelry

Love to Love You                              Smitten Artisan Truffles

Thorn & Wynn                                   Sparrow and Sundry

Torrain                                               Port Rhombus Design

Hand Forge Metal                              RX Letterpress

Nele K                                                Vanport Outfitters

Kelly Melillo                                      Greeneye Gardens

Stone Barn Brandy Works                 Polymath Design Lab

Black Star Bags                                   Portland Buckle

Our partners will also be selling their great local goods (beer, crafty supplies, and more!).      F.H. Steinbart Co.             Hand-Eye Supply                Portland Made

In addition to our awesome vendors, we will be offering delicious home-cooked food, drink samples, live music, a photo booth, and the opportunity to lounge in our Clubhouse. Come support Portland makers and celebrate the holiday season with us!

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Gifted 2013 Vendors… Sneak Peek!

With Gifted 2013: The Portland Made Marketplace less than two weeks away, let’s get a preview of some of our vendors! These great local businesses will be selling a range of products, from jewelry to baked goods to iPhone accessories. There’s something here for everyone.

Now introducing…

Schutten Works                                  Sarah’s Cookies

North St. Bags                                     Three Little Figs

Oregon Kombucha                            Donald & Jane

Sue Handman                                    Saucy Jewelry

Love to Love You                              Smitten Artisan Truffles

Thorn & Wynn                                   Sparrow and Sundry

Torrain                                               Port Rhombus Design

Hand Forge Metal                              RX Letterpress

 Nelek                                                 Greeneye Gardens

More to come!


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ADX’s Holiday Gift Guide

At ADX we think the best gifts are made locally – or even better, by you! So we’ve come up with a list of Portland made and DIY gift ideas to make your holiday shopping a little less hectic and a little more awesome. From gift fairs to classes to DIY workshops, there’s something for everyone on your list!

1. Shop Locally

Gift fairs are a great way to get everything you need in one place while keeping it local. We’ve teamed up with Portland Made to bring you Gifted 2013: The Portland Made Marketplace, a gift fair, local goods gathering, and holiday party all rolled into one! Our guests get their holiday shopping done locally while enjoying live music, great food & drinks, a photo booth, and all the comforts of our cozy clubhouse!

You can also find great Oregon made products at Rejuvenation, located at 1100 SE Grand, through December 25th.


2. DIY Gift Workshops

This year we’ve made it easy to make gifts by hand by hosting two DIY Gift Workshops! These workshops are open to the public and no experience is needed. We provide an easy-to-follow DIY kit ($10-$20) and assistance from our Shop Master and Shop Stewards so you can leave with a hand crafted cutting board, wine rack, or tool box! 


3. Make It Yourself

Can’t make it to a DIY gift workshop but still want to make your gifts by hand? Our new Free Time Membership allows you to take full advantage of the shop during nights and weekends. Use your free time to make meaningful gifts for your friends and family! You can also make a beautiful box as a gift in our Build a Keepsake Box with community member, Greg Simmons ($170).


4. Give an Experience

From archery enthusiasts to techies, we all have skills we want to build. ADX Gift Certificates can be put towards membershiplaser engraving, or classes and allow your loved ones to join our collaborative community of makers. Purchase gift certificates online or at the front desk.

These classes make great gifts!
Build a Longbow ($555, with Master Bowyer Tom Turgeon), Intro to Metal ($210, includes 1 month Unlimited Membership), Intro to Wood ($210, includes 1 month Unlimited Membership), and Intro to Arduino ($180, includes free arduino kit!)


5. Customize Your Gifts

Adding a name, date, or symbol to your gifts is an easy way to give them a personal touch. Bring your gifts to ADX this holiday season and have our laser technicians customize them. We can laser wood, certain plastics, metal, paper, leather and more. We also have a line of lovely holiday ornaments fresh off the laser cutter and ready to decorate your home!


Happy Holidays!

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Build a Drone… Save Rhinos!

Want to build your own unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV)?

We’ve teamed up with Autodesk to bring you a challenge where teams will work together to design, build, and fly their own UAVs. What will these UAVs be used for? Saving rhinos.

It’s been a bad year for rhinos.

In South Africa 100 rhinos were killed just in the last five weeks and we’re on track to lose over 1,000 to poachers by the end of the year. If this trend continues we will see the total demise of black rhinos in South Africa as well as most other wild rhinoceros over the span of the next decade.

Rhino poaching is incredibly cruel. The act typically involves heavy tranquilizer guns and a chainsaw to remove the horn all while the rhino is still alive. The animal is then left to bleed out.


Source: Wildlife Conservation Challenge

Luckily, someone is doing something about this. 

Stan Hisel is an Autodesk’s Fusion 360 community member who works professionally on UAVs. Last summer he used UAVs to track the migration patterns of geese in Colorado and believes the same concepts could be used to track and capture poachers. Stan, and many others, see UAV technology as critical in protecting dwindling Rhino populations.


Begin the Fusion 360: Build a Better UAV Challenge!

Kashmir-Robotics, and their partners, have created the international Wildlife Conservation UAV Challenge to “foster innovation and invention in the design, fabrication, and utilization of unmanned aircraft to assist with counter poaching and illicit wildlife trafficking” (wcUAVc). They’re offering $65,000 in total cash prizes for the best UAV designs.

Along with our partner, Autodesk, Stan, and the local PDX drone group, ADX will be hosting a two weekend challenge to help teams build UAVs to enter in this competition. We’re providing the equipment, technology, and space for innovative minds, flying enthusiasts, and anyone interested in building UAVs to come collaborate. We will be using Stan’s low-cost fly kit (shown below) as a starting point for our designs and Fusion 360.


On December 7th and 8th and December 14th and 15th we will be working to make the UAV design lighter, cheaper, easier to fabricate, more reliable, stronger, and/or stiffer. Costs for making your own drone should be around $150 – $300. The challenge is all open source and anyone can participate!

Click here to join a team and build your own UAV!

Got questions? Email Michael at Keep updated here. There’s more to come!

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